2 Timothy 3:8-4:5
Stephen Caswell © 2003
In 2 Timothy Paul passed on vital information concerning the Church ministry. It contains some of his last recorded words. Paul reminded Timothy that we will all give an account of ourselves when Christ comes back. James advised Christians to think twice about becoming teachers since we will receive a stricter judgment in James 3:1.
1. God’s Worker
a. Be Ready v 1-2.
2 Timothy 4:1-2a I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.
If believers must be ready to give an account of their hope how much more should ministers of the Gospel be ready to preach it. This means we must be continually feeding our own souls from God’s Word. We should ask the Lord to provide opportunities to share the Word. Paul gives Timothy and us a charge to be ready to preach the Word.
b. Be Relevant v 2.
2 Timothy 4:2b Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
Paul told Timothy to be relevant. To apply God’s Word appropriately. There are times when we should convince people of the truth. We minister as Christian apologists. Other times call for rebuke. When believers stray they must be challenged to repent. On other occasions God’s people should be encouraged to persevere in trials. Christian ministers need to be flexible. Let’s recognize what is required for the day and be relevant.
c. Be Realistic v 3-4.
2 Timothy 4:3-4: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Paul told Timothy to be realistic. People won’t always listen. Sometimes people don’t want to be told the truth. In fact Paul warns Timothy that people will turn away from the truth, from God’s Word to fables. This was true in Isaiah and Jeremiah’s day and it is certainly true today. Jesus taught this in the parable of the sower. Not everyone’s heart is like the good soil. As Gospel ministers we should be realistic about the responses people will make. Even though some will turn from the truth we must be faithful to preach it.
2. God’s Word v 5, 8-17
2 Timothy 4:5: But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Paul commanded Timothy to do the work of an Evangelist. Paul commands Timothy and us to fulfill our ministry. Why does Paul emphasize God’s Word so much in the pastoral epistles? Because only God’s Word is powerful and sharper than any two edged sword. Only God’s Word will bring forth fruit, our words won’t. Isaiah 55:10-11 says that God’s Word will not return void, but shall accomplish His will. Romans 1:16 says the Gospel is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes. In fact Paul uses therefore in verse 1 to link chapter 4 with the end of chapter 3. God’s Word is essential for three important ministries.
1. Fighting Corrupt Teachers v 8-9, 13
2 Timothy 3:8-9: 13: Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
God’s Word is essential to withstand corrupt teachers. False teachers deceive and bind people with lies. The truth is needed to set men free. If false teachers oppose the truth, then Ministers of the Gospel must defend it and proclaim it. If we don’t Satan will have free sway in deceiving people. God’s Word is our sword to fight Corrupt Teachers.
2. Forming a Child Of God v 14-15.
2 Timothy 3:14-15: But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
The only way that people can be saved is through obedience to the Gospel. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:17 The Gospel leads people to repent from sin and believe in Jesus Christ. Therefore the Gospel is critical to salvation. Only the Gospel reveals God’s plan in forming a Child of God.
3. Furnishing a Man Of God v 16-17.
2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
But the Scriptures are also necessary to help the Child of God to mature. Without them we cannot become men of God. God uses His Word to help us grow into useful servants, into Men of God. The Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures to equip us for service. They are profitable for doctrine (what is right), for reproof (what is not right), for correction (how to get right), and for instruction in righteousness (how to stay right). Yes the Word is very important to furnishing a man of God. Therefore let’s preach God’s Word.